This abbreviated article by JONATHAN AIGNER JANUARY 31, 2020 again from Patheos Discussions about Worship for Thinking People. You can go to the Patheos website to view the entire article. See also my posts Praise and Worship and More on Praise and Worship.
True worship doesn’t capitalize on entertainment pop culture.
According to ticketmaster.com, pricing for a general admission seat begins at $29 and goes up all the way to $61.50. Hillsong doesn’t come cheap!
If you want to shell out a mere $206 per ticket, you can achieve true worship bliss with the Awake package, which includes:
- Meet and Greet
- Photo Opportunity with Hillsong Worship
- Refreshments (I’m assuming no beer and wine.)
- Devotional with Hillsong Worship
- Reserved Floor Seating
- Dedicated ‘Awake’ Entrance
- Pre-show Merch Shopping Opportunity (Additional fees apply, of course.)
- Custom Lanyard
- VIP Host Exclusive Gift Bag, including sticker, lyric book, Awake hat, pen, digital download
It’s not worship. That’s blatant false advertising.
That’s why I shout, “Wake up! It’s a huge deal!”
These sorts of acts, promoted by the so-called “worship industry,” have hijacked the authentic worship gathering, the beautiful liturgy of the Christian church, the source and summit of the Christian life, and using the same strategies as secular entertainment, they’ve turned it into a commodity. That is a grievous thing.
They might as well be calling it the “Awake and Give Us All Your Money” tour.
Worship Is Costly, But Admission Is Free
You’ve probably all heard the analogy that we’re all equal at the foot of the cross. There’s room on that level ground, of course. Admission is free. But it demands much of us, certainly more than a few bucks. When I hear people claim that they’ve gone to events like this, found momentary euphoria, and have worshiped as never before, I don’t just feel sceptical, I feel a sense of dread. The words of Bonhoeffer frequently echo in my mind.
“The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.”
This kind of worship goes part and parcel with cheap grace. They claim to bestow the gifts of God on whoever buys a ticket and shows up. After you’ve paid your admission, it requires absolutely nothing of you. The historic liturgy of the church has a different offer. “Come and participate in the life of the church, but be prepared to give of yourself.”
Worship is not a product. It cannot be bought and sold. That’s the grace of it all. The grace available to God’s people in worship is not something that can be bought, but once it’s bestowed, it is all-consuming.